Masters of disasters

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Community Emergency Response Team trainees learn how to extinguish a fire.

More than a couple dozen Marshall County residents have recently become trained as the kind of neighbors anybody would want.

They've completed a course of study to know how to survive a disaster, rescue others and provide related services until professional help arrives.

Their instruction came through the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, which has for several years been preparing teams to be ready if the worst happens. Community Emergency Response Teams are formed from the volunteers who've completed the EMA training.

In Middle Tennessee, a great deal of attention is paid to threats from tornadoes, but the state is also troubled by ice storms that can knock out electrical power. Parts of the state have been threatened or damaged by explosion, fire and, historically, earthquake.

"In the early stages of an emergency, citizens would very likely be on their own," says Bob Hopkins, director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency who advised this year's CERT training class. "This class will teach some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills, which will greatly improve the ability for citizens to survive until responders or other assistance arrives."

Those skills include use of the contents of a first aid kit, fire prevention, light rescue and how to safely move injured people and get them from harm's way. Fire safety for utilities such as gas and propane is also taught....Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 18, 2008 for full story and photos.